Symphony for Winds and Percussion (Grantham)

From Wind Repertory Project
Donald Grantham

Donald Grantham

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 20:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Piquant Press
Cost: Score and Parts – Rental ($300.00)


1. Bright, then dark
2. Melancholy
3. Stomp


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Cowbell
  • Guiro
  • Lion's Roar
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Siren, hand cranked
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbals (5)
  • Tam-tam (2: medium and large)
  • Thunder Tube
  • Trap Set
  • Triangle (small)
  • Vibraphones (2)
  • Vibra-slap
  • Wind Chimes (brass)
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Donald Grantham's Symphony for Winds and Percussion was commissioned by the West Texas State University Symphonic Band, Donald J. Lefevre, Director. In 2008, Lefevre contacted Grantham requesting a programmatic work based on an African novel. Grantham liked the idea but mentioned he had yet to compose what he felt was a major work for wind band, suggesting that he write a symphony for winds. Thus, Symphony for Winds and Percussion was born.

The work is in three movements with a gradual shift in style from movement to movement. A minimalist style defines the first movement and is “more symphonic and contemporary in structure,” according to Grantham. The overall style and character of the first movement becomes the basis for the jazz-inflected material of the second movement. The third movement progresses to a full-out jazz swing style and dance. The thematic evolution takes the listener for a relaxed voyage, crossing effortlessly between two contrasting musical styles and will be discussed as the piece progresses.

Grantham writes:

The first movement, marked Bright, then dark, uses minimalistic techniques and materials. The first part of the movement, the "bright" music, is entirely white note. Chromatic pitches are gradually added, and the music darkens, thickens, and turns to minor. The movement ends with combination and interaction of the two contrasting materials, the dark material becoming darker and the dark material lighter.

The second movement is slow and marked Melancholy. Harmonically, it is an amalgam of the bright/dark characteristics of the first movement. However, the jazz-inflected materials are gradually introduced, and, as in the first movement, the two different styles interact and are combined in the movements final section. A brief codetta serves as a transition to the final movement, which begins attacca from the second movement.

Jazz-influenced material entirely replaces the minimalistic style in the third movement. Characterized as a Stomp, the music is aggressive, swaggering, and in swing rhythm throughout. The movement is divided into three large sections and concludes with a Coda. The main Stomp theme is introduced in the low brass and woodwinds in moderate tempo, followed by a presentation of two highly contrasting themes. These three themes are expanded upon, developed and combined in the two sections that follow, with each new presentation being introduced by an accelerando to a dramatically faster new tempo.

- Program Note by Thomas M. Wallis


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer